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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 April, 2003, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK
Bath late show stuns Sarries
Bath 27-19 Saracens (agg: 57-57)
Bath win on tries scored (6-5)

Tom Voyce squeezes in at the corner for Bath
Bath's Tom Voyce scored the decisive try deep in injury time
Bath reached the final of the Parker Pen Challenge Cup with a dramatic victory over Saracens secured by a converted try five minutes into injury time.

The West country side were trailing their London rivals by seven points on aggregate when one last charge culminated in Tom Voyce squeezing over at the corner.

Voyce's awareness in scrambling infield as he crossed the line gave Olly Barkley the angle he needed to give Bath a 27-19 second-leg victory and tie the aggregate scores at 57-57.

The final whistle left most spectators - and some of the players - unsure of who would go through, but Voyce's touchdown gave Bath a 6-5 edge in the aggregate try count used in the event of a draw over the two legs.

Bath coach Michael Foley said of the drama: "My chest was tightening at the end but I was aware that Olly's kick would put us through.

"I am glad it was decided on the number of tries. I can't say enough about the guts within this group of players," he added.

MATCH SUMMARY
Bath's Iain Balshaw is tackled by Kyran Bracken
Bath 27
Tries: Grewcock, Seveali'i, Voyce
Cons: Barkley 3
Pens: Barkley 2
Saracens 19
Try: O'Mahony
Con: Little
Pens: Little, Goode 2
DG: Goode

Bath had looked to be cruising when they led 17-3 at the break, through tries from captain Danny Grewcock and Samoan wing Elvis Seveali'i.

Scrum-half Gareth Cooper was instrumental in both scores, sparking the moves that saw Grewcock power over and Seveali'i side-step past Sarries' full-back Tim Horan on his way to the posts.

However, Horan provided his riposte just two minutes into the second half, fashioning a try for Darragh O'Mahony with a clever kick.

That seemed to rattle Bath and Saracens cut into their advantage to regain the aggregate lead through two penalties and a sweet dropped goal from replacement stand-off Andy Goode.

The former Leicester man's second penalty, struck deep into injury-time, looked to have put Sarries into their first European final.

But Bath rediscovered their scoring touch just when it mattered most and Voyce's late, late try earned them the right to face Wasps at Reading on 25 May.


Bath: Perry; Balshaw, Maggs, Tindall, Seveali'i; Barkley, Cooper; Barnes, Long, Mallett, Borthwick, Grewcock, G Thomas, Beattie, N Thomas.
Replacements: Blake, Stevens, Galasso, Voyce, Malone, Scaysbrook, Delve.

Saracens: Horan; Haughton, Shanklin, Sorrell, O'Mahony; Little, Bracken; Storey, R Russell, Califano, Yandell, Benazzi, Peacey, Roques, Chesney.
Replacements: Marsters, Cairns, Hooper, Skirving, Kirton, Johnston, Goode.

Referee: David McHugh (Ireland)


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's Ed Marriage
"A fitting climax to a game that was tight throughout"



SEE ALSO
Saracens take narrow lead
13 Apr 03  |  European Club


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